The Dish - News & Happenings

Animal Care Services
Published on Thursday, December 20, 2018

Four legged Christmas presents?

Residents urged to make an informed decision on pet gift giving; look out for scams

CONTACT: Lisa Norwood, 210.207.6665


SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 20, 2018) - With the holidays quickly approaching, many people decide a new puppy or kitten would make the perfect Christmas gift.  Animal Care Services does not discourage holiday pet adoptions, but does strongly encourage residents to make an informed decision when adopting a pet at any time of the year. ‘Tis the season for scams and unfortunately there are unscrupulous breeders out there that will take advantage of would be pet parents. Some will misrepresent the breeds they have or even sell sick and underage animals for cash in parking lots or roadsides. Not only is this dishonest, it’s also against the law. Many pets connected to illegal pet sales end up dying from diseases like Parvo and Distemper because they’ve not been vaccinated or they’re simply too young to be placed in a home.


City residents should always report illegal pet sales to 311. If you still decide to get a pet from a breeder instead of a shelter, ask questions. A reputable breeder won’t mind you verifying vaccination records and can give you information on your new pup’s mother and father, if not actually show them to you.  Ask for a signed health guarantee and read the breeder’s contract before you sign it. 


Regardless of how you meet your new pet, the commitment is for a lifetime so it makes sense to make a decision that’s well thought out and right for you, your family and your new furry friend. Here are some considerations when pondering pets as gifts:

  • Puppies and kittens require constant attention and supervision which could be in short supply due to the usual hustle and bustle of the season. This time in a young pet’s life is one at which they are most impressionable. Habits learned now, good AND bad, can last a lifetime.
  • If you want to give a pet as present, consider bringing the animal home after the holidays and give pet supplies or a stuffed animal in preparation for the real thing.
  • Consider planning the purchase with the gift recipient. Make a surprise trip to the shelter and let your friend or loved one choose their pet. Everyone’s idea of the perfect dog or cat may not be the same.
  • Parents buying a new puppy or kitten for their children this Christmas must realize they will likely be the primary caregivers of the animal.
  • If people do decide to bring a new pet home, they need to have patience while the animal gets acclimated to their new environment. Understand that getting a dog or cat means you are willing and able to make a lifetime commitment to the responsible care of that animal.
  • Remember- a dog or cat who has been properly introduced to their adopters is much more likely to become a true member of the family.


All potential adopters at Animal Care Services meet with the shelter’s adoptions team who help them complete a questionnaire aimed at matching potential adopters with the perfect pet for their family and lifestyle.  We strongly encourage people to give gift cards for pet supplies or even a stuffed toy as an alternative to an actual pet which can be chosen by the actual adopter or as a family. Animals adopted from ACS will be sterilized, vaccinated and micro chipped before going to their furever home. The Animal Care Services Adoption Center will be open Christmas Eve until 3pm, Closed Christmas Day and then open again the day after Christmas from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.